I have been sober for almost seven years. In those seven years the Lord has required me to make many changes, and I know that He will continue to do so. Some of those have been hard, some have been easy, but I know that I have to embrace them all as I continue to work to change and become more Christ-like every day.
I'm involved in a ministry for SAHMs. I see a lot that goes on that others don't. In the course of any job, you find people who annoy you, or situations that you are frustrated with and want to talk about. In the course of an internet job, you sometimes find people who are dishonest or deceitful and it's your job to protect the group from them. Along this line, I have become jaded and cynical. I have grown a hard shell around myself to protect me from those who would hurt me. I have lost the compassion that I need to have for even the people I do not care for.
I have talked about some members in ways that were unfair or demeaning. I let my impatience with some people turn into snotty remarks behind closed doors. I have judged those I had no right to judge. I know that I have a responsibility to take care of the members of the group and I failed.
I have been tested this past week in incredibly painful ways. I do believe that the Lord has allowed me to be tested this way because I would not obey Him. My program of recovery requires rigorous honesty even when it hurts, and it hurt very much to confess to them this week. And it blew me away when they offered forgiveness, understanding, compassion. Even those who said they felt hurt and their trust was broken, still offered their forgiveness. I am humbled. I mentally put on sackcloth and ashes for a day, keeping myself quiet and trying to listen so closely to Him.
The Lord has broken me because I needed to be broken and humbled. I cannot be an effective servant for Him if I do not change who I am to be more Christ-like. I had a hard time even asking Him for forgiveness because I was so ashamed of myself and didn't feel worthy to ask. Isn't that funny though - how can we ever be worthy? We cannot, and that is why His sacrifice means all the more. As painful as this has been, my sin is the same as any other sin - a black mark on my soul that only He can erase. And I am so thankful that He has.